Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fw: TheList 4392

The List 4392
To All,
I hope your week has started well.
This Day In Naval History - February 21
1944 - Marines with support of naval bombardment and carrier aircraft secure Eniwetok atoll
1991: During Operation Desert Storm, AV-8B aircraft from Marine Attack Squadron 331 conduct the first of 243 sorties off the deck of USS Nassau (LHA-4).
Son of Quote of the Day
On this day in history (February 21):
1878: The first telephone directories issued in the U.S. were distributed
to residents in New Haven, CT.
1947: Edwin H. Land first demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which used
self-developing film that produced a black-and-white photograph in 60
seconds. Wildman Fischer sang about taking a picture of you with his
camera. It became an "instant" success.
1950: The first International Pancake Race was held in Liberal, Kansas.
In the annual event, contestants wearing dresses, aprons and head scarves
must run a 415-yard, "S" shaped course while flipping a pancake in a
skillet three times.
National Sticky Bun Day
February 21
The Jesuit poet Robert Southwell is hanged for "treason," being a Catholic.
Michael Romanov, son of the Patriarch of Moscow, is elected Russian Tsar.
The British blockade of Toulon is broken by 27 French and Spanish warships attacking 29 British ships.
As troubles with Great Britain increase, colonists in Massachusetts vote to buy military equipment for 15,000 men.
Trinidad, West Indies surrenders to the British.
The first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is printed, both in English and in the newly invented Cherokee alphabet.
In the Second Sikh War, Sir Hugh Gough's well placed guns win a victory over a Sikh force twice the size of his at Gujerat on the Chenab River, assuring British control of the Punjab for years to come.
The Texas Rangers win a Confederate victory in the Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico.
The world's first telephone book is issued by the New Haven Connecticut Telephone Company containing the names of its 50 subscribers.
The Washington Monument is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
The Mukden campaign of the Russo-Japanese War, begins.
The Battle of Verdun begins with an unprecedented German artillery barrage of the French lines.
The Germans begin construction of a concentration camp at Auschwitz.
Hideki Tojo becomes chief of staff of the Japanese army.
Nicaragua and Costa Rica sign a friendship treaty ending hostilities over their borders.
The U. S. Eighth Army launches Operation Killer, a counterattack to push Chinese forces north of the Han River in Korea.
A grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama indicts 115 in a Negro bus boycott.
Havana places all Cuban industry under direct control of the government.
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcom X) is assassinated in front of 400 people.
Richard Nixon arrives in Beijing, China, becoming the first U.S. president to visit a country not diplomatically recognized by the U.S.
A report claims that the use of defoliants by the U.S. has scarred Vietnam for a century.
F-35 and F-14 Discussions from Shadow, Lurch, Dutch and Dr. Rich
Thanks to Doctor Rich
Interesting that the USAF may be planning on using the F-35 for Close Air Support .. HUH??  
Best I can discern from test pilot, "Gremlin" Hoppe, the F-35A is armed with a GAU-22/A, a four-barrel version of the 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer cannon. The cannon is mounted internally with 182 rounds for the F-35A or in an external pod with 220 rounds for the F-35B and F-35C; the gun pod has stealth features. Software updates to enable operational firing of the cannon are expected to be completed by 2018. The F-35 has two internal weapons bays, and external hardpoints for mounting up to four underwing pylons and two near wingtip pylons. The two outer hardpoints can carry pylons for the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-132 ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) only.] The other pylons can carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM BVR AAM, AGM-158 Joint Air to Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM) cruise missile, and guided bombs. The external pylons can carry missiles, bombs, and external fuel tanks at the expense of increased radar cross-section, and thus reduced stealth.
There are a total of four weapons stations between the two internal bays. Two of these can carry air-to-surface missiles up to 2,000 lb (910 kg) in A and C models, or two bombs up to 1,000 lb (450 kg) in the B model; the other two stations are for smaller weapons such as air-to-air missiles. The weapon bays can carry AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-132 ASRAAM, the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), Paveway series of bombs, the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), Brimstone anti-tank missiles, and cluster munitions (Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser). An air-to-air missile load of eight AIM-120s and two AIM-9s is possible using internal and external weapons stations; a configuration of six 2,000 lb (910 kg) bombs, two AIM-120s and two AIM-9s can also be arranged.The Terma A/S multi-mission pod (MMP) could be used for different equipment and purposes, such as electronic warfareaerial reconnaissance, or rear-facing tactical radar. The British Ministry of Defence plan to fire the Select Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) Capability 3 missile from the internal bays of the F-35B, with four missiles per bay.
Lockheed Martin states that the weapons load can be configured as all-air-to-ground or all-air-to-air, and has suggested that a Block 5 version will carry three weapons per bay instead of two, replacing the heavy bomb with two smaller weapons such as AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.  Upgrades are to allow each weapons bay to carry four GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) for A and C models, or three in F-35B. Another option is four GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb IIs in each bay on all F-35 variants. The F-35A has been outfitted with four SDB II bombs and an AMRAAM missile to test adequate bay door clearance, as well as the C-model, but the STOVL F-35B will not be able to carry the required load of four SDB IIs in each weapons bay upon reaching IOC because of weight and dimension constraints; F-35B bay changes are to be incorporated to increase SDB II loadout around 2022 in line with the Block 4 weapons suite. The Meteor air-to-air missile may be adapted for the F-35, a modified Meteor with smaller tailfins for the F-35 was revealed in September 2010; plans call for the carriage of four Meteors internally. The United Kingdom planned to use up to four AIM-132 ASRAAM missiles internally, later plans call for the carriage of two internal and two external ASRAAMs. The external ASRAAMs are planned to be carried on "stealthy" pylons; the missile allows attacks to slightly beyond visual range without employing radar.
Norway and Australia are funding an adaptation of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for the F-35. Under the designation Joint Strike Missile (JSM), it is to be the only cruise missile to fit the F-35's internal bays; according to studies two JSMs can be carried internally with an additional four externally. The F-35 is expected to take on the Wild Weasel mission, though there are no planned anti-radiation missiles for internal carriage. The B61 nuclear bomb was initially scheduled for deployment in 2017; as of 2012 it was expected to be in the early 2020s,  and in 2014 Congress moved to cut funding for the needed weapons integration work. Norton A. Schwartz agreed with the move and said that "F-35 investment dollars should realign to the long-range strike bomber". NATO partners who are buying the F-35 but cannot afford to make them dual-capable want the USAF to fund the conversions to allow their Lightning IIs to carry thermonuclear weapons. The USAF is trying to convince NATO partners who can afford the conversions to contribute to funding for those that cannot. The F-35 Block 4B will be able to carry two B61 nuclear bombs internally by 2024.
According to reports in 2002, solid-state lasers were being developed as optional weapons for the F-35. Lockheed is studying integrating a fiber laser onto the aircraft that uses spectral beam combining to channel energy from a stack of individual laser modules into a single, high-power beam, which can be scaled up or down for various levels of effects. Adding a laser would give the F-35 the ability to essentially burn missiles and other aircraft out of the sky. The F-35 is also one of the target platforms for the High Speed Strike Weapon if hypersonic missile development is successful.
The Air Force plans to use the F-35A to primarily take up the close air support (CAS) mission in contested environments. Amid criticism that the aircraft is not well suited for the role compared to a dedicated attack platform, Air Force chief of staff Mark Welsh is putting focus on weapons for the F-35 to employ on CAS sorties including guided rockets, fragmentation rockets that would shatter into individual projectiles before impact, and lighter, smaller ammunition in higher capacity gun pods. Fragmentary rocket warheads would have greater effects than cannon shells fired from a gun because a single rocket would create a "thousand-round burst," delivering more projectiles than a strafing run could. Other weapons could take advantage of the aircraft's helmet-mounted cueing system to aim rather than needing to point the nose at a target. Institute for the Study of War's Christopher Harmer has questioned the use of such an expensive aircraft for CAS.
On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 9:38 AM, Rich:
Thanks to Lurch, Shadow and Dutch …  read bottom -> top….  Hard to believe the USMC ever considered the F-14 ...
Don't know who wrote this… but he did the Marine Corps a great service with his advice to the Commandant… We should never have been involved in the F-14 program. As a former "Grunt" and F-4 Driver… I came to feel over the years that during the post Vietnam era… many lost sight of the fact that our primary mission was always CAS… not ACM. Like the author, I felt way back then, we should have latched onto the A-10 program. In fact, given the choice today, I'd take the A-10, over the Harrier and what's coming down the track. As a pilot and AMO… I worry about "maintainability" of the F-35 with our limited resources… as much as I did then about our ability to support the F-14. Much is being made about the number of Hornets sitting idle these days for lack of spares… but if we weren't pouring billions into a aircraft that has yet to prove its' potential or become truly operational after over a decade… maybe we would have found the money to keep both the "Legacy Hornets" and the "Super Hornets" flying. The problem is not with the airplanes… it is with planning and management. Piss poor planning, equals piss poor results. Same song, different era. I remember toward the end of the F-4 era… it was easier (and cheaper) to cumshaw parts from the Air Force, rather than depend on our own supply system. As Marines, we had to be resourceful.
I was thinking this morning… can anybody tell me the bomb load on the F-35… say compared to what we could carry on the A-4/F-4? What's the max load for the F-35 for 250, 500, 1,000 or 2,000 pound bombs? Can they carry Mavericks or other missiles as well as a full bomb load? Can they carry an external load? Do any of the versions have an internal gun? My fear is with our obsession with technology… we forget what wins wars. Numbers, plain and simple. If technology was the be all to end all… we'd be speaking German today. There is no conflict we are engaged in today… that needs a $100 million dollar airplane for close air support… I might add, none on the horizon either. If ever the "Big Ballon" goes up and we end up in conflict with either of the other two super powers… Nukes and numbers will decide the outcome. Not stealth or $500 thousand dollar crash helmets.
Just saying'… Shadow
Burt… You have any thoughts on this?
On Feb 20, 2017, at 7:07 AM, Dutch R <flyboy@helndutch.com> wrote:
Thanks to Lurch 
Many thanks Nellie.
Will try to make a long story short.  Forgive my 40+ year memory not being 100% correct on the exact dates.  My arrival to VF-124 and departure are 100% correct.
Adm. Zumwalt wanted a full complement of F-14's 12 Navy squadrons but congress shorted him 3 squadrons. So the next years PIM he went back to congress and said the Marines needed 3 squadrons which they approved.  I was selected to proceed to Miramar to supplement the Navy instructor staff and develop a plan to train 12 Marine instructors and 3 squadrons of Marine aviators and ground troops.  I check into VF-124 on Jan 1974 and by June I had completed the training syllabus and was instructing some ground school courses and participating in flight training.  By the fall of that year I had developed a strong feeling that the Marine Corps could never support the F-14.  It didn't support the MC air/ground mission and Zumwalts philosophy on how the Marine squadrons would be deployed didn't make sense. (Could elaborate on this for hours) I was ask to go to the swamp and brief the Commandant of the MC, Gen. Wilson, on the program.  I knew I would be bringing a message that the paper pushes and want to be f14 fliers didn't want to hear.  My brief to Gen. Wilson was, We can't support it, it is underpowered, (congress wouldn't approve the correct engines), it had no Air to Ground capability, and it didn't fit the Marine Corps mission.  The next year Gen. Wilson went to congress and requested the program be cancelled for the Marine Corps, and early 1975 called the Navy requesting his Marines be returned to the FMF. We had just completed ground school for the first Marine flight crews and the day pilots manned the airplane for the first taxi and refueling event we were told the program was cancelled!  VF-124 was in a tight spot since their TO was staffed with the Marine instructor numbers, left them a little short.  A compromise was reached to leave 3 Marine crews for a full three years from the start of training. By April 1977 I retired and Marines were no longed in the F-14 program.  The only thing remaining is a F-14 model with Marines on the side I have in my library.  Now you have to consider where the F-14 was in 1974-1977, not the same airplane that was developed over the out years, but it was terribly unreliable, and could not have been maintained on the beach.  I still believe to this day had the MC been screaming for the A-10 we would have been much better off and where we needed to be  to support our mission.
Hope this gives you a little enlightenment on the short lived MC F-14 program. 
Fighter Sweep
Watch: Coalition Airstrike Destroys an ISIS Vehicle Near Mosul
Sometimes when you are a fan of US Military aviation it does your heart good to see the results of what US aviation assets can actually do. Watch as a View More ›
Item Number:1 Date: 02/21/2017 CHINA - IN ANTI-TERROR MOVE, AUTHORITIES ORDER MOTOR VEHICLES TO BE TRACKED IN REMOTE PREFECTURE (FEB 21/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Chinese authorities have ordered all vehicles within a prefecture of the restive western Xinjiang province to be installed with tracking devices as part of a counterterror campaign, reports Agence France-Presse.   All drivers in the Bayingol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture must add a satellite navigations system called Beidou to motor vehicles "to prevent theft, but also primarily to maintain stability," one police officer told the wire service on Tuesday. Beidou is the Chinese equivalent of GPS.   Residents have until June 30 to comply, said a police official cited by China's Global Times newspaper. The system will cost drivers US$13 annually.   "Cars are the major means of transportation for terrorists, and also a frequently chosen tool for terrorist attacks, so it's necessary to use the Beidou system and electronic vehicle identification to enhance the management of vehicles," said an earlier statement by Bayingol traffic police.   Chinese security forces in Xinjiang have recently held anti-terror rallies throughout the province. Bayingol is remote and sparsely populated and has not been the site of recent violence, noted Reuters.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 02/21/2017 FRANCE - 3 RAIDS MADE BY COUNTERTERROR POLICE; 3 SUSPECTS SAID TO HAVE 'ADVANCED' PLOT (FEB 21/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- Counterterror police in France have arrested three men in separate raids who are suspected of planning terror attacks, reports the Local (France).   Two men were detained in three raids on Tuesday in the central city of Clermont-Ferrand, in the south of Marseille and in Paris, according to local media.   "The suspects had a plan and it was sufficiently advanced that that counter-terror police decided to intervene," said one source.   A bomb squad was deployed to the home of one of the suspects, according to Le Figaro
  Item Number:3 Date: 02/21/2017 INDONESIA - ANOTHER 18 CAESAR SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZERS ON THE WAY (FEB 21/NEXTER)  NEXTER -- French weapons manufacturer Nexter has announced the signing of a contract with Indonesia for 18 Caesar self-propelled artillery systems.   The defense firm made the announcement on Monday at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi.   The company first inked a deal with the Indonesian armed forces in 2012 for 36 Caesars.   The new deal also included Nexter's FINDART fire-control system; simulators; and more than 50 auxiliary vehicles that will be assembled domestically by PT Pindad.   The value of the contract was not disclosed.  
Item Number:4 Date: 02/21/2017 IRAN - TEHRAN BANS PRIVATE DRONES IN CAPITAL, SAYING THEY CAN BE EXPLOITED BY 'THE ENEMY' (FEB 21/TASNIM)  TASNIM NEWS AGENCY -- Citing security concerns, Iranian authorities in Tehran have banned the flying of privately-owned drones over the capital, reports the Tasnim news agency (Iran).   Personal remote-controlled rotorcraft, including quadcopters, are now prohibited, said an official with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Monday.   "Those quadcopters… can fly over sensitive, vital and major centers, record videos and be misused by the enemy," the official said.   Licenses will only be given to groups, not individuals, he said.   An Iranian state television drone flying over the capital in December was shot down after entering a no-fly zone near the offices of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, noted the BBC.   Last month, anti-aircraft guns fired at an unidentified drone flying over the center of Tehran. The incident was shared on social media, noted the Middle East Eye.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/21/2017 IRAQ - WITH TAKING OF ABU SAIF, TROOPS EYE MOSUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (FEB 21/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Iraqi forces pushing toward the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul have taken control of a key nearby town, reports the BBC.   Government forces entered the town of Abu Saif on Tuesday, giving them a direct line of sight to the airport in Mosul.   The forces were encountering some resistance because of a network of tunnels, and the troops are trying to secure the town, according to a BBC correspondent with the Iraqis.   Iraqi forces began the Mosul offensive in October. They took over the eastern half last month after heavy fighting.   The fight for the western half began on Sunday, with the city's international airport set as first objective.  
 Item Number:6 Date: 02/21/2017 ISRAEL - IN HIGH-PROFILE CASE, SOLDIER JAILED FOR 18 MONTHS FOR KILLING WOUNDED PALESTINIAN ATTACKER (FEB 21/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- An Israeli soldier was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 months in prison by a military court for killing a wounded Palestinian attacker last year, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The case has divided the nation, with many urging a pardon. Those calling for a pardon included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, noted the New York Times. However, military officials said the soldier's actions did not reflect the values of the Israel Defense Forces.   Sgt. Elor Azaria was caught on video in March 2016 killing a badly wounded and immobile Palestinian. The Palestinian had attacked other troops near a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron. A second attacker had already been shot and killed.   Azaria was convicted last month of manslaughter, with a court saying there was "no justification" for the shooting.   Azaria will be demoted to the rank of private and given a 12-month probation on top of his prison sentence.   Manslaughter carries a maximum of 20 years. Prosecutors had asked for three to five years, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 02/21/2017 LIBYA - CONVOY OF HEAD OF UNITY GOVERNMENT COMES UNDER GUNFIRE IN TRIPOLI; NO INJURIES REPORTED (FEB 21/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- No one was injured on Monday when a convoy carrying the prime minister of Libya's unity government came under fire, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), was traveling in Tripoli's Abu Slim district when the convoy took heavy gunfire, said a spokesman for the administration.   Also in the convoy were Abdurrahman Swehli, the head of the state council that advises the GNA, and Najmi Nakua, the commander of the presidential guard.   "All the cars were armored-plated, and there were no injuries," the spokesman said. It was unclear whether it was a targeted attack, he said.   Some accounts said two guards were wounded, but a GNA spokesman said those reports were incorrect, as noted by the National (Abu Dhabi).  
  Item Number:8 Date: 02/21/2017 LIBYA - HAFTAR'S FORCES RELEASE KOREAN CAR CARRIER; VESSEL REPORTEDLY SAILED IN NO-ENTRY MILITARY ZONE (FEB 21/WORLDMN)  WORLD MARITIME NEWS -- A South Korean car carrier seized by militants last week in Libya has been released, says the carrier's shipping firm, as reported by World Maritime News on Tuesday.   The Foreign Ministry in Seoul confirmed that the Korean vessel has been released, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The Morning Compass was stopped on Feb. 18 while en route to Germany by forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Haftar and the government in Tobruk, according to EUKOR Car Carriers.   The vessel, with about 5,000 vehicles, ignored warnings that it had entered a military zone, according to Libyan media   The crew, with 12 Filipinos, 10 Bulgarians and two Ukrainians, as well as the vessel, were released Tuesday morning, said the Foreign Ministry in Seoul.   
  Item Number:9 Date: 02/21/2017 PAKISTAN - TALIBAN SUICIDE BOMBERS ATTACK COURTHOUSE COMPLEX IN NORTHWEST (FEB 21/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Suicide bombers have attacked a court complex in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least seven people and wounding 30 others, say local officials, as reported by the Voice of America News.   On Tuesday, three gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed the courthouse in the Tangi area in Charsadda district, north of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and attempted to enter the main building, said police.   Security guards fought back, prompting two attackers to blow themselves up. They shot a third attacker, said a local police chief.   Casualties have been reported variously.   Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.   A spate of terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan in the last two weeks has killed more than 120 people
Item Number:10 Date: 02/21/2017 POLAND - NUMBER, PACE OF RESIGNATIONS OF SENIOR OFFICERS MAY HURT ARMY'S READINESS, SAYS FORMER GENERAL (FEB 21/DTL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) -- Scores of senior Polish military officers resign have resigned over the last 16 months, apparently in response to the government's alleged political interference, reports London's Daily Telegraph.   Around 26 generals and 260 top officers have stepped down due to the perceived favoring of soldiers loyal to the governing Law and Justice Party and the Defense Ministry's failure to consult with them on changes.   The scale and pace of the resignations poses a "risk to the effective function of the army," said Stanislaw Koziej, a retired general and former head of the Polish National Security Council -- who was the only source named in the Feb. 17 article.   The loss of senior personnel, including Gen. Mieczyslaw Gocul, the chief of the General Staff, has led to questions about the government's handling of the military at a time when Poland and her NATO allies face growing security threats from Russia, said the paper.   "The high command does not necessarily disagree with the decisions themselves but the way political power is exercised: overt political interference into the competencies of the army command, civil servants taking the role of political superiors and the politicization of the army along party lines," Koziej told the Telegraph.   According to the account, critics charge the ruling party with appointing party loyalists with top slots, and removing those considered politically suspect or with ties to Poland's extended communist era.   The Telegraph also said there are concerns that the development of the new territorial defense force, under the Defense Ministry and a separate branch of the armed forces, could become a political force
  Item Number:11 Date: 02/21/2017 RUSSIA - KREMLIN PUT 5TH S-400 ANTI-AIRCRAFT REGIMENT ON DUTY AROUND MOSCOW (FEB 21/TASS)  TASS -- A new air defense regiment equipped with an advanced anti-air missile system has been deployed in the Moscow area, reports Tass (Russia), citing a release from the Defense Ministry.   The latest regiment, armed with S-400 missile systems, assumed combat duty to defend Moscow and the Central Industrial District of Russia, according to a ministry statement released on Tuesday.   There are now five S-400 regiments protecting the region, said the Kremlin.   The missile systems were delivered from the Kapustin Yar range in the southern Astrakhan region after successful live-fire tests, the statement said
  Item Number:12 Date: 02/21/2017 SOUTH AFRICA - 'FREAK' METHANE GAS LEAK AT DURBAN NAVAL BASE KILLS 6, INJURES 26 (FEB 21/BD)  BUSINESS DAY -- Three military personnel and three contractors have been killed in a gas leak at the Salisbury Island naval base at Durban, reports the Business Day (Johannesburg).   The men were reportedly working on Friday in a partially flooded underground shaft or pit inside a disused building at the base, said an unnamed source.   The workers were underground when the gas leak occurred, said a member of the emergency services who responded to the incident.   Another 26 people were injured in what was described as a "freak accident" by responders from the emergency network.   One 21-year-old sailor, and two of his comrades, was hailed as a hero on Monday for responding to cries for help and descending into the pit to try to rescue the workmen overcome by the methane -- only to be stricken themselves, noted News24 (South Africa).  
  Item Number:13 Date: 02/21/2017 SOUTH SUDAN - MORE MILITARY OFFICIALS RESIGN, CITING ETHNIC BIAS (FEB 21/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- Two top military legal officials who were involved in overseeing South Sudan's military courts have resigned, reports Deutsche Welle.   Brig. Gen. Henry Oyay Nyago and Col. Khalid Ono Loki said that high-level interference made it impossible for them to discipline soldiers accused of rape and murder during the civil war.   Nyago was the judge advocate general of the army; Loki headed the military courts.   Last week, another general and the minister of labor resigned their posts. The minister, Gabriel Duop Lam, said he was leaving the government to join a rebel faction, noted the Voice of America News.   The South Sudanese army is fractured along ethnic lines, said Loki in his resignation letter. He called the justice system arbitrary and discriminatory against those who are not members of President Salva Kiir's Dinka ethnic group, which is the majority in South Sudan.   Soldiers are committing crimes without fear of punishment, particularly Dinka officers, he said.   Nyago made similar criticisms.   A military spokesman said that Loki had resigned in 2016, but that had not been made public until now, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 02/21/2017 SYRIA - ISIS-LINKED JIHADISTS MAKE SURPRISE ATTACK AGAINST FSA IN SOUTHWEST, NEAR GOLAN (FEB 21/INDEP)  INDEPENDENT -- Syrian jihadists linked to the Islamic State have attacked 'moderate' rebels in the country's southwest, near the Israeli border, reports the Independent (U.K.).   Fighters belonging to the Khalid Ibn Al Walid Army made a surprise attack on Monday against a faction of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), gaining control of villages near the Syrian Golan Heights where the borders of Jordan and Israel converge, according to locals.   The militants, equipped with dozens of armored vehicles and several tanks and supported by sleeper cells, came from the towns of Jamla, Ain Zakar Nafaa and al Shajra and overran nearby towns, said rebel sources cited by Reuters.   The jihadists were later driven out from at least two villages by the Southern Front, an alliance of FSA factions.   The Khalid Ibn Al Walid Army was formed by the merger of two militant jihadist factions who are believed to have pledged allegiance to ISIS. The group now controls of strip of territory southeast of the Golan Heights.   Jordanian army units stationed near the border were put on alert, said a Jordanian security source.   Meanwhile, fighting between the FSA and the Syrian government has continued in Deraa, about 25 miles east of the Yarmouk Valley. Rebel advances in the key district of Manshiya has prompted renewed Russian airstrikes.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 02/21/2017 SYRIA - RADIO-CONTROLLED IED KILLS 4 RUSSIAN MILITARY ADVISERS (FEB 21/TASS)  TASS -- Four Russian servicemen have been killed by a bomb in Syria, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow).   The vehicle with the Russian military advisers was part of a column of Syrian troops moving from the Tiyas military airbase toward Homs in western Syria on Feb. 16, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday.   The Russian vehicle hit a remote-controlled bomb, the ministry said. In addition to those killed, two other Russian servicemen were badly wounded in the blast, reported RT (Russia).   Doctors were still working to save the lives of the injured advisers, said the ministry
Item Number:16 Date: 02/21/2017 TURKEY - AIR FORCE BLASTS PKK REPEATEDLY IN NORTHERN IRAQ (FEB 21/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The Turkish air force says it conducted multiple airstrikes in northern Iraq on Monday, reports the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   According to the military, the strikes killed 34 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants.   The strikes were aimed at militants in Iraq's Zap region and were conducted shortly after midnight and before noon, according to a military statement cited by Reuters.   Eleven PKK militants were killed in the first wave of strikes and 23 in the second wave, the military said.   The PKK has been fighting a three-decade insurgency against Ankara in southeastern Turkey and also maintain camps in northern Iraq. Turkey has been hitting those sites since a cease-fire collapsed in 2015
Item Number:17 Date: 02/21/2017 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - ARMED FORCES TO GET INTEGRATED BATTLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM UNDER $189 MILLION CONTRACT (FEB 21/HARRIS)  HARRIS CORP. -- The United Arab Emirates has awarded Harris a contract for an integrated battle management system for its armed forces, announces the Melbourne, Fla.-based defense firm.   The two-year, US$189 million contract will provide the U.A.E. with initial operational capabilities as it implements enhanced battle management solutions, the company said in a release on Monday.   The deal was awarded under the Emirates Command and Control System (ECCS) Land Tactical System (ELTS) program, which will integrate, coordinate and maximize the efficiency of Emirati military assets, said Harris.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 02/21/2017 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - RUSSIA AGREES TO HELP PRODUCE 5TH-GEN FIGHTER, SELL SU-35S (FEB 21/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The United Arab Emirates has signed a pair of agreements with Russia for military aviation projects, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   A letter of intent for the purchase of Su-35 fighters by the U.A.E. has been signed, Sergei Chemezov, the head of Rostec, said on Monday at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi.   The countries also agreed to begin joint development work on a light fifth-generation fighter in 2018. The work will take seven to eight years, according to Chemezov. It will be based on the MiG-29 fighter, reported the National (Abu Dhabi).   That work is in the initial phase, focusing on proposals for the U.A.E., Yuri Slyusar, the head of Russia's United Aircraft Corp. told Moscow's Tass news agency.   It is still to be determined if the fifth-generation fighter will have one or two engines, Slyusar said
Item Number:19 Date: 02/21/2017 USA - USAF USE OF PRECISION WEAPONS AGAINST ISIS OUTPACING MUNITION PRODUCTION; SERVICE IS BORROWING FROM OTHER SOURCES (FEB 21/USNWR)  U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT -- The former secretary of the U.S. Air Force says the service has had to dip into its weapons stockpiles around the world to keep up the fight against the Islamic State, reports U.S. News & World Report.   "We are concerned, worldwide, when looking at ammunition needs," Deborah James, the former Air Force secretary, told the magazine in an interview shortly before she stepped down last month. "We've been expending so many in the Middle East we've had to borrow in some cases from other areas."   Those shortages were discovered last year and are still a problem, according to officials at the Joint Staff.   The shortfalls are aggravated by the fact that 99.5 percent of all strikes against ISIS use precision weapons. The U.S.-led coalition has conducted an average of 21 strikes per day since the end of October 2016, according to figures from the U.S. Central Command.   Former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter first raised concerns about such shortages in February 2016. He asked Congress for an additional $2 billion to increase bomb production. Manufacturers began increasing output in March. Yet, combat commanders said shortages were still a problem during the summer.   "We are currently able to mitigate shortages within combatant commands by managing the redistribution of munitions according to requirements and needs," said a spokesman for the Joint Staff.   Increased weapon intake from the step up in production over the last two years is already underway, the spokesman said. Once the production increases are complete, the Pentagon will begin to replenish global stocks, said the spokesman.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 02/21/2017 USA - USS CORONADO CREW FACE OPEN-ENDED DEPLOYMENT; REPLACEMENT CREW NOT TRAINED YET (FEB 21/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The crew of the littoral combat ship Coronado has been forward-deployed to Singapore without relief for eight months, about twice as long as expected, reports the Navy Times.   There are about 70 sailors in Crew 204, which deployed in June for the Rim of the Pacific drills and to replace USS Fort Worth, another littoral ship, at Changi Naval Base in Singapore.   The crew was originally scheduled to rotate home for Thanksgiving.   However, once the Coronado arrived in Singapore, the Navy's top surface warfare officer announced a major overhaul for the LCS program's training standards following a string of accidents. Some of those were blamed on crew errors.   Under new training standards, replacement crews require some underway time. In this case, the replacement crew, 203, has been unable to spend any time at sea since all of the trimaran Independence-class ships are undergoing refits or repairs.   The delays could extend the 204's crew's deployment to as long as a year, two family members told the Navy Times.


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